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Jul 2, 2022 - 3:12:23 PM
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157 posts since 12/6/2019

Hey there, I was recently looking through the website of a builder who is claiming that the "hoop on stick" design, along with having a "deep scoop" where the neck meets the drum are both trademarked design features. This seems a little suspect to me. I know of a lot of builders that use both of these techniques, and that a lot of first time builders have employed both of these techniques (myself included). Is it possible that such a common design feature could be trademarked? It almost seems as silly as trying to trademark using ebony over maple as a bridge design. I'll post the website if folks want to see but I'd rather not. I'm not trying to call anyone out here, but rather curious about whether it's legal for me to continue building banjos in the way that I have been. Do i just have to call it something else, like "neck through rim with friction fit" construction or something? This reminds me of when Deering tried to copyright banjos made with white oak wood.

Jul 2, 2022 - 3:33:09 PM
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1623 posts since 4/13/2009

Apples, bananas, and oranges. "A patent protects new inventions, processes, or scientific creations, a trademark protects brands, logos, and slogans, and a copyright protects original works of authorship."

Jul 2, 2022 - 3:42:20 PM

157 posts since 12/6/2019

So basically as long as we aren't using the term "hoop on stick" when referring to the way a banjo is constructed it's okay?

Here's a quote from the website. Name omitted because I'm really not trying to open a can of worms here, just trying to understand legal implications of using this technique

"XX Banjos feature hoop-on-stick construction that differs from the neck fitted to hoop construction found on most contemporary banjos. The hoop-on-stick construction of XX Banjos is a trademark of NAME OMITTED Creative Consultant LLC"

Jul 2, 2022 - 4:08:41 PM

7012 posts since 9/21/2007

Post the website.

Jul 2, 2022 - 4:23:20 PM
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13457 posts since 6/2/2008

It's Thumpy Banjos and the maker doesn't know what he's talking about.

But also, he is not claiming ownership of "hoop on stick" design. He's saying his hoop on stick design is unique and his trademark.

As mentioned above, product design cannot be trademarked. If the design serves an actual structural or performance purpose -- such as Stelling's wedge-fit pot -- then it can be patented and enjoy protection for a certain number of years depending on the type of patent.

But trademark protects aspects of a product that relate to its brand or source, not its functions. Thumpy's description of its hoop on stick design seems to be about its function. Therefore, it can't be trademarked.

I am not a lawyer, so I could be wrong. But I don't think I am.

Edited by - Old Hickory on 07/02/2022 16:38:26

Jul 2, 2022 - 4:43:46 PM
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7012 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

It's Thumpy Banjos and the maker doesn't know what he's talking about.

But also, he is not claiming ownership of "hoop on stick" design. He's saying his hoop on stick design is unique and his trademark.

As mentioned above, product design cannot be trademarked. If the design serves an actual structural or performance purpose -- such as Stelling's wedge-fit pot -- then it can be patented and enjoy protection for a certain number of years depending on the type of patent.

But trademark protects aspects of a product that relate to its brand or source, not its functions. Thumpy's description of its hoop on stick design is all about its function. Therefore, it can't be trademarked.

I am not a lawyer, so I could be wrong. But I don't think I am.


I think you are correct.

His use of the word "trademark" does not make any sense.

A TESS search does not turn up a filing for the name he is claiming.

Here is real info on what can be "trademarked".

https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/basics/trademark-patent-copyright

Jul 2, 2022 - 5:01:09 PM
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rmcdow

USA

1179 posts since 11/8/2014
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Old Hickory

It's Thumpy Banjos and the maker doesn't know what he's talking about.

But also, he is not claiming ownership of "hoop on stick" design. He's saying his hoop on stick design is unique and his trademark.

As mentioned above, product design cannot be trademarked. If the design serves an actual structural or performance purpose -- such as Stelling's wedge-fit pot -- then it can be patented and enjoy protection for a certain number of years depending on the type of patent.

But trademark protects aspects of a product that relate to its brand or source, not its functions. Thumpy's description of its hoop on stick design seems to be about its function. Therefore, it can't be trademarked.

I am not a lawyer, so I could be wrong. But I don't think I am.


You are correct.  I have engaged in intellectual property for 30 years, and have worked with top intellectual property attorneys in California.  If Thumpy draws up his design on a piece of paper, he might be able to register a trademark on that, but he can't submit a physical object to be trademarked.  There is no allowance for that in the trademark application process.  He can submit a physical object with his two dimensional mark on the physical object, as the sample of his mark being used in commerce.  Possibly this is where his confusion lies.  

Jul 2, 2022 - 5:11:08 PM
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rcc56

USA

4341 posts since 2/20/2016

Just another guy looking for an angle.
If you google his "company," nothing comes up, not even the banjo website.

These people come and go, sometimes causing a headache for those they encounter, but without any real ability to create any significant consequences.

Most of these folks thrive on attention. If they don't get it, sooner or later they go away.

Edited by - rcc56 on 07/02/2022 17:14:41

Jul 2, 2022 - 5:25:50 PM
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14753 posts since 6/29/2005

I see nothing there that can be patented—it's all traditional public domain stuff that goes back 150 years or more.  You could just find a picture of an old banjo from 1872 that looks like that one and base your design on that.

You could copyright "Thumpy Banjos", and maybe "Drum on a Stick" as trade names, especially if the logo was a unique style, which is what you would actually be copyrighting.

You could get a "design patent" on the exact design, but all someone would have to do would be to change the design a little bit and the design patent wouldn't be valid.  You really have to have attorneys and a lot of time and money to defend that stuff, and it takes drawings, diagrams and explanations as to specifically what element(s) of the design you are patenting when you file for it.

Most of the patents in the banjo business nowadays are efforts to protect an "invention" from being copied by a large scale operation and scare and intimidate small builders who can't afford legal services.

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 07/02/2022 17:30:05

Jul 2, 2022 - 5:56:51 PM
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2939 posts since 3/30/2008

He is using the word "trademark" to mean a distinctive feature or characteristic of his banjos, & is not using it in a legal sense.  (He might do better to use the simple words "feature" ,or "characteristic"  to describe his design.  Perhaps the word "trademark" is there to  create an aura of authenticity & status w/ some legal sprinkling.

Edited by - tdennis on 07/02/2022 18:15:42

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Jul 2, 2022 - 6:31:03 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

26186 posts since 6/25/2005

I’d like to see him find a lawyer to take his case if he tried. Good for a laugh.  As noted earlier, trademarks are not patents. Browder is trying to claim a what would need to be a patent is a trademark.  That won't fly. I don't see the key word "registered" in his claims..

Edited by - Bill Rogers on 07/02/2022 18:39:11

Jul 2, 2022 - 6:33:38 PM
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7012 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by tdennis

He is using the word "trademark" to mean a distinctive feature or characteristic of his banjos, & is not using it in a legal sense.  (He might do better to use the simple words "feature" ,or "characteristic"  to describe his design.  Perhaps the word "trademark" is there to  create an aura of authenticity & status w/ some legal sprinkling.


The phrasing of the website makes if very clear that he is trying to claim some official legal license by using the word "trademark" in relation to his designs and the name of his LLC.

As I wrote above, a search of the US Trademark TESS turned up no filings on his claimed name. Perhaps he has filed in a different country?

He is a member, perhaps he will will clear this up for us?

Jul 2, 2022 - 6:35:34 PM

7012 posts since 9/21/2007

BanjoCrafter , tagging so he might decide to join in to help us understand his claims better.

Jul 2, 2022 - 7:08:58 PM

157 posts since 12/6/2019

I appreciate everyone's input. Glad I'm not the only one this struck as a little fishy.

Jul 2, 2022 - 10:09:30 PM
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rcc56

USA

4341 posts since 2/20/2016

I just listened to this fellow's video.

He doesn't strike me as being anything but a builder who might have made a poor choice of words when he used the term "trademark," perhaps not understanding the implications of his use of the word.  And perhaps Deering's and Gibson's shenanigans have made some of us a bit too nervous.

His banjos are an interesting piece of art. I'll assume that he intends no harm and just wants to build interesting banjos.

Edited by - rcc56 on 07/02/2022 22:19:06

Jul 3, 2022 - 5:15:12 AM
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Alex Z

USA

4899 posts since 12/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

I just listened to this fellow's video.

He doesn't strike me as being anything but a builder who might have made a poor choice of words when he used the term "trademark," perhaps not understanding the implications of his use of the word.  And perhaps Deering's and Gibson's shenanigans have made some of us a bit too nervous.

His banjos are an interesting piece of art. I'll assume that he intends no harm and just wants to build interesting banjos.


Yep.  I agree.  As someone else noted, "distinctive feature" appears to be the intended meaning. 
 

But it's not as much fun for the BHO patent police platoon when they have their torches and pitchforks at the ready and are piling on legal drama. "Who does this guy think he is, to use the word trademark without first giving each of us individually a chance to veto it and whack him a few times in the process?"  Run that poor soul out of town, we will.  Ain't getting no help from the BHO.  No sir.  :)

Mr. Thumpy, elegant designs, go for it!

Edited by - Alex Z on 07/03/2022 05:16:58

Jul 3, 2022 - 6:01:35 AM

157 posts since 12/6/2019

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z
quote:
Originally posted by rcc56

I just listened to this fellow's video.

He doesn't strike me as being anything but a builder who might have made a poor choice of words when he used the term "trademark," perhaps not understanding the implications of his use of the word.  And perhaps Deering's and Gibson's shenanigans have made some of us a bit too nervous.

His banjos are an interesting piece of art. I'll assume that he intends no harm and just wants to build interesting banjos.


Yep.  I agree.  As someone else noted, "distinctive feature" appears to be the intended meaning. 
 

But it's not as much fun for the BHO patent police platoon when they have their torches and pitchforks at the ready and are piling on legal drama. "Who does this guy think he is, to use the word trademark without first giving each of us individually a chance to veto it and whack him a few times in the process?"  Run that poor soul out of town, we will.  Ain't getting no help from the BHO.  No sir.  :)

Mr. Thumpy, elegant designs, go for it!


Not at all my intention. And exactly why I didn't want to post the website or mention his name. I think Bob makes awesome banjos, and has been freely sharing info on his other website, banjo crafter for years. This was never meant to be a personal attack. I just wanted to get opinions from the community here on whether there could be any legal ramifications for me and other small builders if I continue to build and occasionally sell banjos the way that I have been doing it.

Sorry Bob.

I do think that trying to trademark or patent (whatever, I still don't understand the difference but I'm not a lawyer) a design feature commonly used by a lot of builders is a little weird.

I would understand if maybe Bob is worried about Deering or another large builder making and trying to sell a "Thumping" banjo or other similarly named instrument with all the same design features. That would piss me off too, and maybe that's his intention with the trademark lingo on his website. 

Jul 3, 2022 - 6:21:41 AM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15742 posts since 8/30/2006

Most of the patents in the banjo business nowadays are efforts to protect an "invention" from being copied by a large scale operation and scare and intimidate small builders who can't afford legal services.   Ken, just go ahead and mention Deering, it's ok, just be nice.   That's more pro. 

One of my classmates from 55 years teaches Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights.  I follow her advice.  

I encouraged others in this thread to get their (TM).  I just renewed mine in 2017.  I openly encouraged Ken Levan to get his back in 2009, I see he took other peoples' advice., and protected that fine work of his own hands that he presents.

We should all stay positive while we throw snowballs from the snow cave.  I always joke about Ground Hog day on the hangout and two more months of cabin fever banjos. 

I once suggested a separate subject forum for this type of information here on the hangout.  Maybe it's time again to discuss that so people would not end up using registered mail to mail themselves nothing. 

I've heard people who are here and present on this hangout talk about "when" it was allowed to make copies of existing instruments.  These copies even use another's logo in pearl on the headstocks of copy banjos.  There is a legality which is never explained by the copiers, they just copy logos and other features. 

Also Ivory from thrift shops, like little carvings are picked up and used again in ivory inlays and other decorations of wooden objects.  Some would be of the opinion, and I would share this opinion that carvings made from animal bone and other structures for different purposes other than raw material for nut, pip and tailpiece, need to be just purchased and taken out and buried in the earth.  I don't care what you think, I think this, I keep my own counsel. 

I have seen film where the collars of dead poached elephants are examined and identified by other elephants and recognized because those creatures give each other names, and odors are signatures, like all mammals having scent glands in their hands and feet.    So using their dead body parts for banjo pieces is a little disconnected from my point of view.  When there is plenty of abalone when the otters are present.  Few are conserving elephants the same way.

I was told by Levan to get some different and new photos, I don't need to do that,  He is free to move about his natural habitat.  This is a joke, I explain for the gifted, or 'challenged."  Get it?

People need things to carve, copy, decorate and be human beings with.  One can copy and repurpose all one wants to.  I personally would not cut up another's hand work to decorate anything.  I like the memory of the original artist.  Bone buttons would be different because they aren't Ivory.  

There should also be another forum subject for ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.  This keeps people informed and would encourage newer people of all ages to participate more fully here.

The commercial aspects of the forum are well covered.  I like T-shirts and my wife loves her BHO  hoody for the winters in Arizona  Brrrr.

Moderators are present so we can do as moderate adults do, we can disagree.  Innuendo or hearsay ain't no contact sport and should be scoreless and basically just laid aside.

There is a line that gets crossed for permission and prior art.  

Joel Hooks does a lot of research and sometimes he publishes my photos for me.  As does Ken Levan,  don't get personal, banjo is a verb,  That's a joke

One of the definitions here might include in a positive way what constitutes a "hobbyist, a "builder,  and a Big Boy.  Like good, better, best.  

I could easily gear up and make more banjos as explained to me by Bart Reiter and Eric Sullivan.  Those shapers run at 100K, I use a lower level response with my table saw instead of a sanding jig.

Someone's family member explained to us,  "we're not a big boy, we only have 50 employees."  Now Ken Levan, what do you think of that.  Will they be contacting you to design a banjo as you explained to me in private email?  I sincerely hope you stick  to your own beautiful work with those unique hands and brain of yours, there's nobody like you, man.

Rives Mcdow is one of those who will say, Yes, but was it good whiskey.  I rented a banjo to a person for a week up in Sedona, AZ.  I prefer cash.  He came back younger looking, he didn't know what the Helix would do.  

Remember:   "There's a Lady in the Harbor who holds the torch of Liberty.

In all the world there's no one like her. 

That is why you and me will Dance the Moon across the sky

There our children will be born.

Say farewell for we are leaving early in the morning, early in the morn.   Dance the Moon (C) 1989  Altman, my friend. 

 

Or we opened up our squirrel guns and gave 'em Bunker Hill. 

Edited by - Helix on 07/03/2022 06:54:11

Jul 3, 2022 - 7:34:34 AM

7012 posts since 9/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Most of the patents in the banjo business nowadays are efforts to protect an "invention" from being copied by a large scale operation and scare and intimidate small builders who can't afford legal services.   Ken, just go ahead and mention Deering, it's ok, just be nice.   That's more pro. 

One of my classmates from 55 years teaches Patents, Trademarks and Copyrights.  I follow her advice.  

I encouraged others in this thread to get their (TM).  I just renewed mine in 2017.  I openly encouraged Ken Levan to get his back in 2009, I see he took other peoples' advice., and protected that fine work of his own hands that he presents.

We should all stay positive while we throw snowballs from the snow cave.  I always joke about Ground Hog day on the hangout and two more months of cabin fever banjos. 

I once suggested a separate subject forum for this type of information here on the hangout.  Maybe it's time again to discuss that so people would not end up using registered mail to mail themselves nothing. 

I've heard people who are here and present on this hangout talk about "when" it was allowed to make copies of existing instruments.  These copies even use another's logo in pearl on the headstocks of copy banjos.  There is a legality which is never explained by the copiers, they just copy logos and other features. 

Also Ivory from thrift shops, like little carvings are picked up and used again in ivory inlays and other decorations of wooden objects.  Some would be of the opinion, and I would share this opinion that carvings made from animal bone and other structures for different purposes other than raw material for nut, pip and tailpiece, need to be just purchased and taken out and buried in the earth.  I don't care what you think, I think this, I keep my own counsel. 

I have seen film where the collars of dead poached elephants are examined and identified by other elephants and recognized because those creatures give each other names, and odors are signatures, like all mammals having scent glands in their hands and feet.    So using their dead body parts for banjo pieces is a little disconnected from my point of view.  When there is plenty of abalone when the otters are present.  Few are conserving elephants the same way.

I was told by Levan to get some different and new photos, I don't need to do that,  He is free to move about his natural habitat.  This is a joke, I explain for the gifted, or 'challenged."  Get it?

People need things to carve, copy, decorate and be human beings with.  One can copy and repurpose all one wants to.  I personally would not cut up another's hand work to decorate anything.  I like the memory of the original artist.  Bone buttons would be different because they aren't Ivory.  

There should also be another forum subject for ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.  This keeps people informed and would encourage newer people of all ages to participate more fully here.

The commercial aspects of the forum are well covered.  I like T-shirts and my wife loves her BHO  hoody for the winters in Arizona  Brrrr.

Moderators are present so we can do as moderate adults do, we can disagree.  Innuendo or hearsay ain't no contact sport and should be scoreless and basically just laid aside.

There is a line that gets crossed for permission and prior art.  

Joel Hooks does a lot of research and sometimes he publishes my photos for me.  As does Ken Levan,  don't get personal, banjo is a verb,  That's a joke

One of the definitions here might include in a positive way what constitutes a "hobbyist, a "builder,  and a Big Boy.  Like good, better, best.  

I could easily gear up and make more banjos as explained to me by Bart Reiter and Eric Sullivan.  Those shapers run at 100K, I use a lower level response with my table saw instead of a sanding jig.

Someone's family member explained to us,  "we're not a big boy, we only have 50 employees."  Now Ken Levan, what do you think of that.  Will they be contacting you to design a banjo as you explained to me in private email?  I sincerely hope you stick  to your own beautiful work with those unique hands and brain of yours, there's nobody like you, man.

Rives Mcdow is one of those who will say, Yes, but was it good whiskey.  I rented a banjo to a person for a week up in Sedona, AZ.  I prefer cash.  He came back younger looking, he didn't know what the Helix would do.  

Remember:   "There's a Lady in the Harbor who holds the torch of Liberty.

In all the world there's no one like her. 

That is why you and me will Dance the Moon across the sky

There our children will be born.

Say farewell for we are leaving early in the morning, early in the morn.   Dance the Moon (C) 1989  Altman, my friend. 

 

Or we opened up our squirrel guns and gave 'em Bunker Hill. 

 

 

 

 

 


Larry, I was not able to find your trademark registered with the US Trademark office either.  I tried searching your name, home address, etc..  The name "Heilx" is trademarked by many people for use on many different products, but I was unable to locate one for musical instruments, namely banjos.

Do you have a trademark registration number?

Jul 3, 2022 - 9:01:34 AM

Alex Z

USA

4899 posts since 12/7/2006

Something that would decrease idle and critical speculations would be for a poster to check out and complete the following before rendering an opinion on  such issues:  

1.  A patent is ____________.
 

2.  A trademark is ____________.
 

3.  A copyright is ____________. 

 

4.  Trade dress is ____________.
 

This would at least result in some basic common ground for the discussion, as opposed to posters opinionating on the merits of copyrighting a banjo, etc. 

Edited by - Alex Z on 07/03/2022 09:02:59

Jul 3, 2022 - 9:31:46 AM

14753 posts since 6/29/2005

I have nothing patented or copyrighted. I use my own name to identify my instruments, which is a tradition among artists, craftspeople and luthiers that goes back hundreds of years.  I'd be REALLY surprised if someone decided to call their banjos "LeVan" unless that was their name as well.

There are quite a few elements on my banjos that I developed earlier, have been patented by large companies, and I know that will happen again, but I'm not going to waste a lot of time, money and energy trying to hire attorneys and patent things.  I have been told I can never stop that kind of thing, and it's not worth the effort even to worry about it.

Many of the details I have done on banjos years back, I have since gone beyond and have come up with a better idea, so having patented something or copyrighted a name or logo would have been wasted effort unless my intention was to keep doing the same thing over and over—I'm not a factory or manufacturing operation.

paraphrasing Ervin Somogyi’s 2013 treatise on guitars,I have re-worded it slightly for banjos:
“...In the absence of a craft tradition in which independent luthiers ongoingly seek ways of refining their work, the newer generations of banjo makers have — knowingly or not — been copying copies of copies of copies. . . of mostly Gibsons, but Vegas, Bacons, etc.

While copying — or imitation, as Oscar Wilde put it — is the sincerest form of flattery, it does cut down on investigation, discovery, originality, increased understanding, and improvement."

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 07/03/2022 09:35:21

Jul 3, 2022 - 12:22:34 PM
Players Union Member

Helix

USA

15742 posts since 8/30/2006

For copies, I mean looking like the real thing copies
I know a young man here who just makes sg’s’. Gibson SG copies

Ok so circle C (c) is a national copyright
Circle P (P) is a national Trademark

Take a look at Levan’s pages and see
(TM) which is a State trademark
That’s it man

Mine is registered in Arizona and you are quite correct about so many Helii. And some person in Az trademarked every thing with the word Helix
You go on line and do your own trademark search. All States do this
They cross reference each other
Maybe
I like their adamancy about phonetics
Like you. Joelh Ooks
But they failed to trademark
HeliX Banjo Rims (TM) Since 2007

You’ll find the public record in the Arizona State Secretary of State’s Office

Just like Mr Levan’s in Pennsylvania

So don’t mail yourself some of those superb ‘thimbles’
But look into protecting your intellectual property, come on Joel, the phones are ringing in, Did you say imbicilical?

My cabinetmaker friends in their nineties knew their was a name for my type of rim. I said. You just saved me a $1k patent search

Edited by - Helix on 07/03/2022 12:26:01

Jul 3, 2022 - 12:40:01 PM

rmcdow

USA

1179 posts since 11/8/2014
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Helix

Rives Mcdow is one of those who will say, Yes, but was it good whiskey. 

Larry, did I send you some of that whiskey?

I agree that Thumpy wasn't using the word trademark in the way the USPTO uses it, but more in the sense that an acquaintance of mine would be referred to in reference to his tilted hat and snappy dress, his trademark look.  Anyone can trademark any word, phrase, drawing, or two dimensional representation of something they are making and potentially marketing.  All they have to do is use it on their product with a ™ after it.  If they want to register it with the USPTO, they can make an application in the class of their product, and on approval, they can then put an ® after their mark.  What this does is put a time stamp of first registration in the public eye.  The USPTO is not going to do anything at all to protect your trademark, that is up to you entirely.  All they do is have a record of your approved application (they search their records for existing conflicting marks before approving yours).  Without this registration of your mark, if things ever go to litigation between you and someone else who has the same or even similar mark, you will have to prove the date you first used it.  With the USPTO registration, once approved, you send in a physical example of your first use in commerce to the USPTO for their records.  Use in commerce in this case means a product with your mark sold and delivered across state lines.

I don't think this is what Bob had in mind with his use; I think he was more in the tilted hat and smart dress use of the word, but that is just my opinion.  There are plenty of trademarks in the wild that have never been registered, and can be used indefinitely with the ™ after the mark, just to give notice that this is your mark to others in the field.  There is not a way to look these up, except through an internet search.   Registration with the USPTO gives you a central point that your date of first use and your mark can be seen easily by anyone. 

Larry, that is interesting about the state registration of trademarks.  I never knew about that.

Edited by - rmcdow on 07/03/2022 12:41:40

Jul 3, 2022 - 2:42:37 PM

157 posts since 12/27/2019

Everything written on his page is a steaming pile:

Thumpy Banjos

None of what he claims as his trademarks -- offset 5th peg, hoop on stick, deep scoop, etc. -- is not covered by prior art.

It's both ridiculous and somewhat offensive.  Is he so seriously deluded to believe he invented the banjo all by himself?  Or that his customers would be too stupid to know better?

Jul 3, 2022 - 3:53:02 PM

Alex Z

USA

4899 posts since 12/7/2006

quote:
Originally posted by Silver_Falls

Everything written on his page is a steaming pile:

Thumpy Banjos

None of what he claims as his trademarks -- offset 5th peg, hoop on stick, deep scoop, etc. -- is not covered by prior art.

It's both ridiculous and somewhat offensive.  Is he so seriously deluded to believe he invented the banjo all by himself?  Or that his customers would be too stupid to know better?

 


"Trademark" and "trade dress" are different concepts. That's the benefit of checking the definitions before making a judgement.  That's what the court will do before rendering and opinion. 
 

For example, "Apple" is a trademark of the Apple corporation!   How did that situation develop?  Answering that question will shed some light on the trademark issue. 
 

Regardless, we're already at the "distinctive feature" common use. 

Jul 3, 2022 - 3:58:41 PM

4267 posts since 3/28/2008

quote:
Originally posted by rmcdow
 

I agree that Thumpy wasn't using the word trademark in the way the USPTO uses it, but more in the sense that an acquaintance of mine would be referred to in reference to his tilted hat and snappy dress, his trademark look. 


Yeah, there are many words which have technical meanings, but which are used much more loosely in colloquial settings. For example, "energy" means one thing when used by a physicist, but something entirely different when used by, say, Shirley MacLaine ( though I don't knoe what she necessarily understands the distinction). In this case, though, IMNSHO he should have known better than to use the colloquial sense on his website.

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